If you don’t know it yet, the ferocious-looking massive dogs you see with police officers or bomb squads makes for an excellent family pet. You might find that quite hard to believe but this large breed is strong, athletic and fiercely loyal – just the characteristics you’d want in a guard dog. Having said that, before you actually go and get your little German Shepherd puppy, here are a few basic things you need to keep in mind:
1. Do your research. German Shepherds are unlike other dog breeds. Because of their massive size and energy, they can be potentially dangerous and destructive. It pays to read up on this particular breed to get to know them before you even bring one home. Knowing what to expect and what to do in certain situations can save you from a ton or worry and money.
2. Be sure you’re ready. German Shepherds take a while to mature. Some experts would say these dogs don’t mature until about three years. Before bringing home a young pup, be very sure you are ready for the long haul. Domesticating these dogs that grow into massive, intelligent working dogs takes a lot of patience, commitment and energy.
Training a German Shepherd
Although individual dog owners may successfully train a German Shepherd, bringing your pup into a dog-training class may prove to be a great way to train your dog. Especially if you have never owned nor trained a German Shepherd before. Besides being trained by professionals, your dog learns from these classes what behavior is socially acceptable. Socialization is an important part of a German Shepherds training to curb their instinct for dominance.
If you choose to train your dog yourself, here are some helpful insights into German Shepherd training:
1. Start early. As soon as you bring home your new dog, begin training straight away, with emphasis on socialization. German Shepherd dogs easily develop aggressive tendencies toward other dogs and strangers as they begin to recognize and develop fierce loyalty and protectiveness toward their owners and their properties.
2. Exercise them well. A regular, rigorous exercise should be part of the dog’s training routine. The German Shepherd is a powerful dog bursting with energy. They need enough time for exercise and play. Otherwise, they’d get bored and restless. A bored German Shepherd can be very destructive.
3. Ensure consistency. Even before you introduce the dog to the family, make sure everyone knows and understands your ground rules for the new dog and enforces them. It will be more difficult to train the dog if anyone in the house lets them get away with misbehavior, more so as the dog grows older.
4. Establish yourself as the leader of the pack. German Shepherds are great working dogs because they respect leadership. This insight into these dogs’ mentality should be an advantage. Make this your primary goal. If you establish this master-dog authority relationship from the beginning, you’ll be in a better position to control, manage and train your dog further.
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